In the run-up to Sankalp Global Summit 2020, Urvashi Devidayal explains why the world needs shared goals, resources and change designers to build a resilient economy

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This year, the Sankalp Global Summit — a social entrepreneurship global event hosted by the Aavishkaar Group and Intellecap is all set to witness participation from 3,000+ participants from 35 countries. To be held from November 2 to November 6, 2020, the summit will drive conversations and discussions to enable the world to reverse global development challenges while accelerating social entrepreneurship innovations and ecosystems with a view to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The summit is being organised at a time when the World Bank’s newly-released South Asia Economic Focus report predicts that the COVID-19 pandemic will shatter South Asia’s booming economies to the lowest levels witnessed in decades. It indicates that at least 100 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty as the epicentre of the pandemic shifts from the West to the Global South. The challenges brought about the pandemic have compelled countries to find different ways to adapt, create, build, and thrive.

It is here that the summit becomes timely and relevant. With the theme of Entrepreneurial Renaissance, the Sankalp Global Summit 2020 will drive the focus on the Impact Economy – an economy that thrives on creating meaningful impact in the lives of individuals, societies and nations. The summit will enable entrepreneurs to step in with their sustainable interventions, where markets and governments have fallen short, particularly in supporting vulnerable communities.

On the sidelines of the summit, YourStory interacted with Urvashi Devidayal, Sankalp Lead, India, to understand why she believes that the time is opportune for impact entrepreneurs to seize the moment and what why the larger ecosystem must participate to drive the impact economy for a sustainable future.

YS: Why do you believe that social entrepreneurship is the answer to build an economy that is resilient, progressive and balances profit with social good?

We believe that social entrepreneurship can have a huge impact, whether providing access to health care, clean energy solutions or improving education, especially today as a response to combat this unprecedented health emergency.  For too long, reforms and policies have been designed in silos that resulted in high socio-economic disequilibrium and COVID-19 accentuated those inequities. What we need in this decade to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals is a new economic paradigm – the Impact Economy – an economy which thrives on creating meaningful impact in lives of individuals, societies and nations and we need three things for that: shared goals, resources and change designers. Social entrepreneurs will become that driving force that can transform the unprecedented challenges into a new playing field; to turn the economy towards a paradigm that balances profits with collective societal good. 

YS: What makes the Sankalp Global Summit 2020 relevant to the larger ecosystem? Why is their participation important?  

Entrepreneurs come to Sankalp to network. As one of the largest convenings for impact investors in the continent, chances are very high that they’ll get to make some good connections. In terms of opportunity, the ecosystem can leverage such a platform that curates and connects stakeholders with their choicest networks, capital and knowledge. In addition, today, social entrepreneurs, across a wide variety of sectors, both formal and informal, are adopting innovative change models; which is where again Sankalp sees an opportunity to facilitate and support stakeholders with learnings, models and partnerships from the private sector to achieve their goals. Together, we hope to accelerate outstanding models of social innovation. 

YS: Why do you think it is important for India’s business and development ecosystem to gain perspective from other regions like Africa and South Asia?

There is an urgent need to bolster social entrepreneurship in the Global South. The economic impact of  COVID-19 on South Asia’s economies is just one of the concurrent reasons. In the last ten years, Sankalp has successfully built regional ecosystems for India and Africa, connecting international players with local organisations and entrepreneurs. We understand the importance of bringing together diverse stakeholders at the intersection of business and development, and the impact this has for impact businesses to be able to grow and thrive.  

As the global impact ecosystem expands, we intend to convene at three different levels — global, regional, and local – to build ecosystems. At the Global Summit, we focus on highlighting trends, opportunities, the adaptation of successful solutions, and best practices for the growth of sustainable development as unearthed by our regional partners across the Global South while ensuring as much accessibility to all stakeholders as possible.  The Global Summit is the go-to place for development finance institutions, donors, philanthropists, and the sustainable development community to keep their finger on the pulse of what is happening at the intersection of business and development in the Global South. 

 

YS: In the larger context, what role does a platform like Sankalp Global Summit play in driving inclusive development and furthering the SDGs? 

While the UN SDGs frame the challenges most countries face, localisation of solutions and ecosystems is essential. This same logic applies to convenings too. We are working towards building local ecosystems in countries in the Global South. Through Sankalp we aim to leverage our past experience, as well as support customised approaches to capacity building for impact. We understand that there is a lack of quality and diverse convenings for the entrepreneurial ecosystem. So with the wealth of convening experience, we want to offer a great venue through curated events, technology back-end to the ecosystem. Through Sankalp we will increase awareness for implementation of sustainable development strategies amongst our entrepreneurial ecosystem players; improve access to investment and financing; improve pipeline of enterprises (for either grant-makers or impact investors); increase in financing available in frontier economies; increase capacity of local partners. 

Sankalp Global Summit 2020

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director- General, World Health Organization (WHO); Dr. K.V. Subramanian; Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India; and Dave McCormik, CEO, Bridgewater Associates, among others are some of the global leaders who will be attending the Summit this year. 

With 150 + virtual sessions , 220 + speakers and  30+ partners, distributed across six thematic areas, the five-day event will allow participants to really deep dive into the opportunities and challenges in driving sustainable interventions.

The virtual booths at the summit will showcase the innovations of social entrepreneurs and new knowledge related to the issues under consideration at the summit. Many organisations will be seen showcasing their latest products, technology and innovations at the exhibition section. There will also be forums exclusively organised by and for business, social entrepreneurs and civil society. To enable meaningful networking between entrepreneurs, capital providers and the larger ecosystem, Sankalp will be hosted on a platform that allows for algorithm-based matchmaking.

Over the past 11 years, Sankalp has built one of the world's largest impact enterprise focused platforms that has showcased and discovered 1,800+ entrepreneurs through 23+ editions of its flagship summits and has connected them to over 600 investors. Sankalp has enabled entrepreneurs to raise over $270 million in funding and disbursed $870 K in cash grants. 

Join global investors, venture capitalists, foundations, policymakers, and entrepreneurs as they congregate to align and work towards viable solutions to global development challenges and shape a more sustainable, equitable society through intent, intellect and investments. 

At Sankalp Global Summit 2020, it’s time to reimagine and shape the future. Register today.

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